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Thread: Finding Matches

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    umd
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    Finding Matches

    Ok, so now I have a power file for a race where I failed. I got dropped and now I want to figure out what went wrong (aside from the obvious). What do you look for?

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    Glimmers of form esammuli's Avatar
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    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by esammuli View Post
    I've read the article... Should gave been clearer... I'm interested in what people here actually do to look at theircrace data, not just what us recommende, if that makes sense.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    What that table on trainingpeaks is doing is an integration under the curve. You want to draw a flat line across at your FTP, then calculate the area under the curve when you are above FTP. With practice and training, you can equate a certain volume/area under the curve above FTP with a "match" and know exactly how many of those you can burn through before you've got an empty book. Excel has basic curve-fitting functions that can do integrations.

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    old & slow Snap's Avatar
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    I don't train with power so I may be missing some of the process here.

    I'd look to see what happened immediately before getting dropped and then kind of back out and look at a wider view until I came up with some clues.

    Was it a general endurance situation where the pace was a bit to too high for a while before you popped?
    Hills with sharp spikes that made you dig deep to get over with the group?
    Massive accelerations like in a tight crit?
    Could positioning and tactics have led to different outcome?
    Did you burn matches early, covering breaks, bridging, just trying to hang on?

    After I came up with a reason or two that contributed to falling off, I would adjust my training to target at least some of the weaknesses.

    All that being said, didn't you just upgrade? Maybe the new field is a little faster. Maybe you just need to get used to the pace and the tighter racing. Maybe you just had a bad day.

    Good luck with figuring it out, but you have got to be honest with yourself. The bag of excuses if for friends and teammates.

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    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    ^good points--especially the last line. Also consider nerves and circumstance outside of the race--TSS? need recovery? nervous? poor concentration/tactics? etc...

    failing in a race is a great motivator though, isn't it? I mean, it sucks, but the next few races become personal milestones.

    good luck!
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I set a grid line at the VO2Max/AWC border and look at any segments above it that are > 45 seconds. If it dips below for a corner or something, I'll consider that to be part of the same match. Then I count matches and see where I stand.

    Then I look back and figure out where those were in the race. If these were accelerations following corners, following failed attacks, or covering gap at the back, then the match count can be helped with technique and positioning. If the problem is on hills or during attacks, then FTP, VO2Max, AWC, and body weight are all candidates for improvement (raise the grid line).

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    umd
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    Thanks, that's the kind of info I was looking for. Anyone have any examples they want to share?

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    Randomhead
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    let's see your charts for the race you won and the race where you got dropped.

    I have no experience with power, is it really possible just to have a bad day?

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    well cat 3 is another level from cat 4. That would be a starting point.
    Get used to the differences and see how you go.
    Last edited by dolophonic; 03-22-09 at 04:24 PM.

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    umd
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    Oh, like I said, apart from the obvious. I know I got dropped because I just am not used to that level of racing. That said, the whole idea of using a power meter during the race is to be able to analyze the data and find my limiters so that I can focus my training. I have ideas of what to look for and a pretty good idea of why I got dropped I'm just interested in hearing how others have used it. Examples, etc. It's always fun to hear other people's experiences... that's the nice thing about the community that we have here on RBR.

    Bad day? Well I suppose but I felt pretty good, my power was more or less in line with what I've been doing lately. I've felt like I've been on the declining edge of a peak and I'll bet if I had done this race a few weeks ago I would have been able to close that 50m and hang on at least another lap, and probably make the time cut.

    I'm taking some time off to recover, build back some and do some crits again in a few weeks.

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    Village Idiot
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    Good luck man!

    Did you figure out how you ended up burning that last match?
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
    -Albert Camus

    Hammer Nutrition 15% discount!!!

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    I know people around here don't believe in HR when you have a power meter but its also worthwhile to see if you were redlined regardless of your power output. Its too simplistic to say "I just wasn't fast enough". There could have been confounding factors such as temperature, hydration, fuel, illness, etc. I've had races where my NP was well "within range" of an easy ride but my HR was through the roof.

    Secondly, I'll add to WR's use of the AWC and say I draw a line at FTP also and look for long periods of time at or near FTP *BEFORE* a VO2 effort. For me, anyway, I would be "pre-blown up" and then try and jump which would elicit spectacular levels of blowing up.

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    Senior Member tanhalt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    Oh, like I said, apart from the obvious. I know I got dropped because I just am not used to that level of racing. That said, the whole idea of using a power meter during the race is to be able to analyze the data and find my limiters so that I can focus my training. I have ideas of what to look for and a pretty good idea of why I got dropped I'm just interested in hearing how others have used it. Examples, etc. It's always fun to hear other people's experiences... that's the nice thing about the community that we have here on RBR.

    Bad day? Well I suppose but I felt pretty good, my power was more or less in line with what I've been doing lately. I've felt like I've been on the declining edge of a peak and I'll bet if I had done this race a few weeks ago I would have been able to close that 50m and hang on at least another lap, and probably make the time cut.

    I'm taking some time off to recover, build back some and do some crits again in a few weeks.

    The only problem with what you're trying to do is...a power meter doesn't measure "descending ability"

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    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    so, I've got to ask -- umd, is this the first time you've been dropped in a race?
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

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    Senior Member tanhalt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kudude View Post
    so, I've got to ask -- umd, is this the first time you've been dropped in a race?
    Probably the first time with a power meter on board...

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    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by kudude View Post
    so, I've got to ask -- umd, is this the first time you've been dropped in a race?
    No. The last time I was dropped in a race was at the Cat 4 RR championship race in bakersfield last May. I couldn't hang on to the lead group at Pine Flat this year but I got 15th so I don't think that was so much "dropped"...

    Quote Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post
    Probably the first time with a power meter on board...
    yes.
    Last edited by umd; 03-23-09 at 10:56 AM.

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    carbon is too light procrit's Avatar
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    What was your best 1', 5' and 20' average during the race?

    And how did that compare to previous races?
    Last edited by procrit; 03-23-09 at 12:05 PM.

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    umd
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    This race: 57 miles, 5,100 ft ascent, 2:35 total time, 210 AP/258 NP
    1' was 469, at the climb on the first lap
    5' was 319 (NP was 356)
    20' was 244 (NP was 303)
    60' was 224 (NP was 285)

    Southern Nevada: 57 miles, 5,000 ft ascent, 2:35 total time, 182 AP/245 NP
    1' was 455 for the race winning "kilo attack"
    5' was 323 (NP was 335)
    20' was 234 (NP was 294)
    60' was 190 (NP was 257)

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    This race: 57 miles, 5,100 ft ascent, 2:35 total time, 210 AP/258 NP
    1' was 469, at the climb on the first lap
    5' was 319 (NP was 356)
    20' was 244 (NP was 303)
    60' was 224 (NP was 285)

    Southern Nevada: 57 miles, 5,000 ft ascent, 2:35 total time, 182 AP/245 NP
    1' was 455 for the race winning "kilo attack"
    5' was 323 (NP was 335)
    20' was 234 (NP was 294)
    60' was 190 (NP was 257)
    That little snapshot makes it look like there wasn't enough FTP available. That could be a combination of fitness, and tactics (since your position generally looks fine).

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    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    That little snapshot makes it look like there wasn't enough FTP available. That could be a combination of fitness, and tactics (since your position generally looks fine).
    Do you mean not high enough, or not able to utilize it fully? I have felt a bit off lately, like it's been harder to make power... I kind of ran myself into the ground racing every weekend, so I'm taking a much needed rest. I didn't ride at all yesterday or today. I think the bottom line is just that a lot of hard efforts continually during the race took their toll. That 1' effort was on the first lap at the start of the climb, and was a higher effort than I did in Nevada, and then I had to continue climbing for over a minute more. The whole climb took 2'15" at an AP of 380. It definitely wore on me. And then it was always hard at the bottom too, I had to do 500W for 20", got a bit of a break and then 20" more at 500W. It was basically like that on every lap

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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    Do you mean not high enough, or not able to utilize it fully? I have felt a bit off lately, like it's been harder to make power... I kind of ran myself into the ground racing every weekend, so I'm taking a much needed rest. I didn't ride at all yesterday or today. I think the bottom line is just that a lot of hard efforts continually during the race took their toll. That 1' effort was on the first lap at the start of the climb, and was a higher effort than I did in Nevada, and then I had to continue climbing for over a minute more. The whole climb took 2'15" at an AP of 380. It definitely wore on me. And then it was always hard at the bottom too, I had to do 500W for 20", got a bit of a break and then 20" more at 500W. It was basically like that on every lap
    without doing any chart and graph analysis, it sounds to me like you just simply burnt too many anaerobic matches and your book was empty. this could be the result of errors you made or the result of physiological reasons. hard to say.

    for a non graph based race analysis, think about:
    -your positioning when you were put under pressure, were you in the pack on a wheel protected from the wind (i.e. wind coming from the right, were you on the left? etc.),

    -where were you at the start of this 2'15" climb? did you hit it with as much momentum as the folks in front of you or were you slowed down and had to "jump" to get back on.

    -if you were dangling on the up portions of the course, did you have to hammer the downhill portions and thus expend greater energy to keep up than others who were recovering while you were working and then ready to go when the course demanded it?

    -descending, same thing as above, did you have to work at it to keep up with those who were recovering while still going fast (this is a killer)

    -gearing, did you choose your gear ratios correctly in the race or did you find yourself out of rhythm or in an odd gear that you couldnt shift out of?

    All these things add up and whittle away at your legs until they just wont do what you want them to anymore.

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    Glimmers of form esammuli's Avatar
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    Here's my opinion of that section of the course. Different category, but I did it in the 3's last year and it was pretty much the same deal.

    What makes that section of the course so difficult was that you had a hard 1:30 effort to the KOM, 30 seconds of false flat, 30 seconds of descending, then another 2-3 minutes of hammering HARD at 30+ mph to the finish line with a stiff tailwind. It was basically:
    1:30 @450-500 watts
    0:30 @ 300 watts
    0:30 @0 watts
    2-3:00 @ 320-350 watts

    FWIW, umd and I are about the same size. (~145lbs)

    In other words, you were cross eyed going over the top of the climb, barely recovering, then suffering across a long flat tailwind section.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    Do you mean not high enough, or not able to utilize it fully? I have felt a bit off lately, like it's been harder to make power... I kind of ran myself into the ground racing every weekend, so I'm taking a much needed rest. I didn't ride at all yesterday or today. I think the bottom line is just that a lot of hard efforts continually during the race took their toll. That 1' effort was on the first lap at the start of the climb, and was a higher effort than I did in Nevada, and then I had to continue climbing for over a minute more. The whole climb took 2'15" at an AP of 380. It definitely wore on me. And then it was always hard at the bottom too, I had to do 500W for 20", got a bit of a break and then 20" more at 500W. It was basically like that on every lap
    What I meant is that if you either:
    a) Had a higher FTP or
    b) Didn't need as much FTP

    ... you'd be able to hang on and be active. So, look hard at your race tactics and make sure you don't have a limiter there. Were you drafting optimally? Were you in a lower-surge position in the Pack? Were you getting gapped? Pulling?

    Aside from that, you might need to train your FTP. Maybe your TSB was too low, and that effectively lowered your FTP. So, recovery might give you the boost you need for next time. You might need to reflect on your training. You don't need a 180 CTL to be competitive in Cat 3, but you do need a lot of power. What would it take to get a 5% boost in FTP and 5' power?

    With a higher FTP, today's matches are tomorrow's "jumps."

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    carbon is too light procrit's Avatar
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    The only way to claw your way out of a hole is to eat and rest repeatedly until you are tired. =)

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